Cody Hutchinson, a Grade 9 Student at Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous, organized a cellphone detox for his classmates, which ended on Thursday, Feb. 11. (Jim Elliot - Eagle Valley News)

Cody Hutchinson, a Grade 9 Student at Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous, organized a cellphone detox for his classmates, which ended on Thursday, Feb. 11. (Jim Elliot - Eagle Valley News)

A 2 week cellphone detox ‘enjoyable’ experience: Shuswap students

Organizer of Sicamous event suggests other schools give restricted phone use a try

Students and staff at Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous found a two-week experiment with limited cellphone use an enjoyable disruption of screen-filled lives.

In late January, Cody Hutchinson, a Grade 9 student at the school, challenged his peers to go without cellphones during the school day for two weeks. Between Feb. 1 and 11, ERS students participating in the challenge turned their phones into the office at the start of the day.

With the two-week cellphone detox at an end, Hutchinson said it was a positive experience for him and his classmates who generally have the same impression.

Read More: Maple Ridge man lucky to be alive after snowmobile accident near Enderby

Read More: Lunch program begins Wednesdays in Salmon Arm for people in need

Hutchinson extended the rules of the detox, keeping distance from his phone while at home as well as at school. He said there was a noticeable improvement in his attitude and his grades at school.

At home, he found less distraction from chores on his family’s ranch; rather than texting or listening to music as he worked he found himself taking in the scenery more.

Hutchinson said his classmates quickly got used to going without their phones and are now happy to turn them in at the start of the day.

Eagle River Secondary principal Mark Marino and Hutchinson issued a survey to students participating in the detox. Their responses suggest more interaction between peers and more homework getting done on breaks. Students also reported less concern with what was happening on their phones during the school day and less pressure to answer notifications with the devices in the principal’s office rather than in their pockets.

Read More: Warming bus gets North Okanagan’s homeless out of the cold

Read More: Stricter border controls for travellers to begin Feb. 22

According to Marino and Hutchinson’s survey, 60 per cent of students who participated plan to change their cellphone habits while at school and 40 per cent said it would change the way they use phones at home.

A celebration to end the detox and prizes are being furnished by a $500 grant Hutchinson was able to obtain from the McCreary Centre Society, a youth research think tank.

Marino and Hutchinson are considering bringing the detox back, possibly to start each quarter or semester.

Hutchinson also challenged other schools to hold a cellphone detox if they can handle the logistics of collecting all the phones. Marino and Hutchinson said they would be happy to share the pledge that students signed before the detox as well as helpful tips with any other schools that want to help students get off their screens.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Technology

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regenerative farming that meets genuine needs should take priority over commercial recklessness, says columnist. (Stock photo)
Column: Hubris, greed causing humans to live destructively

Placing the economy as the top priority is licence to destroy natural systems, says columnist

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

A concept for development of the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Develop land with care and thought

It’s getting to the point that you can’t go a block without seeing more apartments, says letter writer

Nanaimo Community Archives is looking for submissions from homeowners who took on exterior renovation projects, no matter how big or how small, for the first Heritage House Renovations Awards. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo archives holding first Heritage House Renovation Awards

Judges want photos and descriptions of exterior renovations that enhanced character of Nanaimo homes

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Justice system is failing us

Crime rampant, police overworked, businesses targeted, citizens unsafe, says letter writer

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A rendering of Front Street transportation improvements set to get underway as soon as next week. (McElhanney image/City of Nanaimo)
Work set to start on Front Street cycle track in downtown Nanaimo

Road work and street reconfiguration project scheduled to start in March, finish in May

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo motion seeks to ask province for help to combat illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read